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Ott Tanak was the early leader of Rally Sweden, round two of the World Rally Championship, after edging Toyota Gazoo Racing team-mate, Jari-Matti Latvala, in Thursday night's opening stage at Karlstad trotting track. The Estonian, driving a Yaris, beat Thierry Neuville's Hyundai i20 WRC in their head-to-head heat on snow and ice-covered roads, and stopped the clocks 0.3sec faster than Latvala. “This is one of my favourite events and especially this year, because there’s so much snow,” Tänak said. “I enjoyed that stage a lot. More snow is possible tonight, but whatever happens we’ll push hard tomorrow. "Tomorrow is key for us, if we can manage that then the rest of the weekend will be more enjoyable."   Finn Latvala beat Mads Østberg in their duel by 0.3sec, the Norwegian impressing on his Citroën C3 debut to hold third as competitors headed north to Torsby for an overnight halt. Kris Meeke, driving another C3, and Hyundai i20 pilot, Andreas Mikkelsen, were tied in fourth, a further 0.3sec adrift. Neuville completed the top six in another i20. Toyota’s Esapekka Lappi and championship leader, Sébastien Ogier, lost time after sliding wide on the same corner near the finish. They were eighth and ninth respectively, but just 2.9sec covered the top 10. New Zealander Hayden Paddon finished the stage in seventh place, just 2.1 seconds from the lead. Tomorrow mixes stages in the snowy forests of Sweden and Norway. Two identical loops of three tests are followed by a final stage at Torsby. It adds up to 140.10km of competitive action.

Leading positions after SS1

1 Ott Tanak, M.Jarveoja Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota 1m32.7s
2 Jari-Matti Latvala, M.Anttila Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota 0.3s
3 Mads Ostberg, T.Eriksen Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT Citroen 0.6s
4 Kris Meeke, P.Nagle Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT Citroen 0.9s
4 Andreas Mikkelsen, A.Jager Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT Hyundai 0.9s
6 Thierry Neuville, N.Gilsoul Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT Hyundai 1.0s
7 Hayden Paddon, S.Marshall Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT Hyundai 2.1s
8 Esapekka Lappi, J.Ferm Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota 2.2s
9 Sebastien Ogier, J.Ingrassia M-Sport Ford WRT Ford 2.5s
10 Craig Breen, S.Martin Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT Citroen 2.9s

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